The Clinical Ethics Service aims to improve the patient and staff experience, as well as increase organizational integrity, by leading and supporting ethics related services across the CIUSSS.
As part of the Department of Quality, evaluation, performance, ethics, and accreditation the Clinical Ethics Service provides an expert ethics consultation and education service to help patients, clients and residents; their families or substitute decision-makers; and various clinical team members identify and address ethical issues that arise in healthcare.
In addition to providing clinical ethics consultation, ethics consultation is also available for management, administration, and governance related ethical concerns (including policy development and practice change initiatives), as well as for questions related to research ethics, ensuring support for ethical decision-making is available from bed-side to boardroom.
Kevin Hayes, MSc, Clinical Ethicist
What is a Clinical Ethicist?
Clinical Ethicists are professionals working within the healthcare system who have advanced degrees in the interdisciplinary field of Bioethics. They receive training in both philosophy and the health sciences and are encouraged to complete practical training through postgraduate fellowships in clinical and organizational ethics.
The specific role of the clinical ethicist (also known as: practicing healthcare ethicist) has been further defined in recent years to reflect an international movement towards professionalization.
“A practicing healthcare ethicist has dedicated work responsibilities within a healthcare organization to provide a variety of ethics-related services which include one or more of:
- clinical and/or organizational ethics consultation
- policy development and/or review;
- ethics education for staff;
- management of ethics programs (including clinical ethics committees);
- mentoring of staff/learners;
- and conducting research ethics consultations.”
--Healthcare Ethics Forum (Vol 24, #3, 2012)
A volunteer professional body called CAPHE: Canadian Association of Practicing Healthcare Ethicists represents Canadian practicing healthcare ethicists.
All our ethicists are members of CAPHE.
N.B.: Ethics consultation is not a medical or legal consultation. It does not provide medical direction or legal advice. Clinical ethicists are not decision makers: they provide support to the appropriate decision makers involved (patients, substitute decision-makers, health care professionals or administrators) by bringing expertise in ethical analysis to clinical and organizational ethics issues.